Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Spoon and Swoon?

This past weekend, a girlfriend came through town with friends from work and over dinner the topic of spooning, cuddling, post-sex came up. Her friends, guys, were earnestly trying to convince us that they occasionally sought a simple cuddle session. That there are times that they would rather lay next to someone and simply hold each other to sleep. Hmmm...*scratch forehead* This concept was hard to buy, that guys would opt for a sex-free trade of affection. But, what really bothers me is the fact that I found this hard to believe. I’m not a misanthropist, I’m a realist…right?

So, then the question is this, if it is agreed that sex is the most intimate physical act two people (or whatever your preferred party count is) then, why is it more nerve-racking to regress? As we get older or, as sex becomes more frequented on a casual basis, does the traditional chronology revert itself? Recall the "bases." Once upon a time, there was a succession people followed that led up to sex: kissing, a little more, a little more than a little more and eventually, if you round out the bases, sex. Has this order reversed?

I often hear tales of holding hands as a defining moment. Several dates take place before fingers interlock, it has replaced sex as the sign of closeness. When did this regressive transition take place? Was it sometime between high-school sweethearts and drunken fraternity keg parties? Was it between the lapse of a serious relationship to casual dates? Was it between a break-up and make-up with others? Moreover, why has this happened?

I suppose it’s because sex is discrete (for most of us) thus, there is no public display whereas, holding hands indicates to the world that they are taken, off the market, unavailable, wed, hooked, hitched, et al, and that’s something many are not ready for. Rather, most are inclined to gather their clothes, exchange the obligatory kiss and, do they dare, the evasive phone number, and let themselves out.

I feel blue. I can’t think about this stuff. I thought it would be a nice break from writing term papers but I think I would rather write on the origins of symbolic expression in the hyper-reality of heteropic virtual media.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

The Grand Gesture

Girls expect romance more than guys. This is true. Which, in turn, means that a guy has a duty that girls are freed of. (Mark the date of this entry, I believe I am in rescue for the fellas).

I was talking to a guy the other day and we were discussing creative, romantic gestures, including marriage proposals. Some sweet tales were exchanged. Days later, I realize that all the stories were things that a GUY has done/could do. *Scratch forehead* Why there were no stories of how a woman has proposed is understandable- traditionally, it hasn’t happened much. Okay, so be it. But why?

When a guy performs the grand gesture, it is considered romantic, when a girl does it, it is often looked upon as foolishly audacious. This doesn’t have to apply to only marriage proposals, it can include other grand gestures such as professing one’s love, demonstrating desire, initiating a reconciliation, et al. A woman says “I love you” and sometimes, it is uneasily received. A woman initiates sex and often, she is labeled easy. A woman asks for a guy back and, she may be considered needy.

So, is this worse for the guy, being stuck with plentiful duties in the romance department or, for the girl, restricted from acting upon thoughts/feeling?

Well, if guys were obliged to a little less and girls initiated a little more, then maybe a shift in balance will occur, leading people to be able to act in accordance to their wishes. How nice would it be for a guy to get chocolates on Valentines and for a girl to be able to call a in the middle of the night (with no judgment ;)

Thanksgiving with the Sopranos

This was my first Thanksgiving away from home. Granted, Thanksgiving in my family doesn't depict a traditional one, if we want turkey, we go to Boston Market. My family is not big on holidays, that's been the case all my life thus, it's what I know and it's what I'm fine with. But, this year I was in for a holiday treat, a traditional east coast Thanksgiving with the Sopranos meets the Romanos.

A friend from school, Jaime (this girl is crazy, she's one of those who you thought must have been a cheerleader/president of her sorority, but she's even cooler than that, she was the one roll her eyes at 'em) extends a gracious warm invite.

We approach the home and easily I spot the house. Christmas lights drape every pane and roof tile. We walk up the steps, I smell the enticing aroma, yum. We enter and turkey decor ubiquitous in this Queens suburb home. The greetings begin. The family is Italian, which means kisses on both cheeks for every hello, goodbye and a few extra in passing. Soon, appetizers are served: stuffed mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed artichokes, Italians really know how to stuff, including guests. As soon as a plate clears, more food is on its way. Some food, then the Turkey Bowl. Yep, a family football game. Soon to follow, THE MEAL. All the fixings, two to three versions of all the fixings, "Candy, this is vegetarian stuffing, I know you're from California. Now, there are some low-cal foods, which I don't think you should eat, because it's not good and you don't need to be concerned but you're from California, so who knows?" I love it. Thus far, it's like what I see in the movies, except the characters names are Uncle Ray, Uncle Jimmy, Cousin Tony and a few juniors, there's even an Uncle Carmine. And the women, they're cooks, moms of 3-4 children, and they call you "honey" and "sweetie" with total naturalness. They also ask the family to go around and say grace.

My turn comes. I'm red and it's not from the wine, which they didn't stop pouring...I wonder if that was grape juice in the baby bottles. I creatively say, "I'm thankful for being able to spend Thanksgiving with this family." Everyone cheers, toasts and sips. This goes on for every person's grace. More energy is exerted in the after dinner activity, Charades. I don't recall the last time paying games with my family...no, I take that back, we play a lot of phone tag.

And on those messages, we do tell each other what's going on in our lives, occasionally even that we miss each other and my mom is always telling me to wait to cross streets one foot away from the curb. So, when I was thinking about how jovially-spirited the Jordans are (for safety reasons, they don't go by Soprano), and wishing that I had a family that like that to go home to on the Holidays, I realized that I did wish I could go home to my family. We eat whatever delivers on a holiday, go to Starbucks for dessert, fight, yell, laugh, only to re-fuel to fight a little more...see, now that's the traditional Thanksgiving, isn't it? Although, the Jordans were a great substitute.

Monday, November 24, 2003


I got to thinking (I do give it a whirl sometimes) and thought how it's funny how when you're dating multiple people simultaneously there's not much to talk about with your girlfriends. "How's Jim, Bob, and Smith?" Reply: "It's cool, they're fun, you know, everything's cool." Succinct yet, vague. This is not intentional but, it is the inevitable when there is not one focus. But, if you're actually in that elusive one-on-one situation, there's a plethora of topics to discuss i.e., he's a bastard because (fill in the blank), or he did the sweetest thing, he (fill in the blank). Or, better yet, when there is no one, endless rants persist on the gripe of the lack thereofs.

I suppose this is because when you're multi-dating, no one particular really means anything. If there is just the one, the others would be a mere disruption. Now, the real question is, does that prevent anything from developing into anything serious, or do we practice such a juggle as a measure of caution? I know, I know this is not a new lament from me but it is reiterated because seemingly, this is an issue that prevails from college to marriage, girl to guy, guy to girl and coast to coast.

Words like "serious," "exclusive," and, of course, "commitment" have become words of taboo in the realm of dating. Fine. It's perfectly okay to desire other things in lieu of a relationship. There are notions that suggest that a lot must be sacrificed if not, at least compromised to engage in a steady relationship and that's just too much work. It is a separate-togetherness that is sought. Then, as a result, has independence become an easier trait to acquire than co-dependence?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Wine and Whine

Buzzed. Again. I’ve had trouble sleeping. I’ve had to drink a little to get to sleep. This is nothing new for a former insomniac. Yet, it is new when you have to drunk dial friends back in California.

So, I have been sipping wine and sniffling tears. It’s been three months in NY and already so much has happened. So many hellos and almost as many goodbyes.

I have yet to establish a set group of trusted friends, correction, girl friends. I have been blessed to have had the same circle of the greatest girls for almost a decade now. I have often debated whether or not I was missing out for not belonging to a more balanced, coed group of friends. I now have the answer. No, I never felt a void for lacking platonic male companions. However, I DO feel the emptiness of not having a group of just the girls. Granted, any potential girl I meet will ever measure up to my girls back home; nonetheless, I'm a girl’s girl. I need girl friends.

I miss 7 girls wripping apart a closet to get ready for a night out. I miss drinking, dancing and dining with them. Particularly the latter, I miss the Jack in the Box drive thru’s. *sniffle* I miss them making fun of the guy I was talking to at the club. I miss giving them shit for spending the whole night talking to a gorgeous gay guy. I even miss the drama. Ahh, the drama. Moved 5000 miles to get away from it only to learn that it was that that made us last. How triumphant we have been given the tears and guys we have shed ;) Fortunately, I have also met people to appease the forlornness. People that have distracted the isolation with laughter, conversation, pearls and twirls at Suede, boy bashing at Cafeteria, walking over bridges, salsa and Salsa, great burgers a la Blue 9, and parties in your mouths.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

B & B at C.C.’s

Looks like I’m open for business again…wait, probably not a wise statement by someone named Candy. What I mean is that my side business of a bed and breakfast has re-opened at its new location, NY. Sure, there isn’t much breakfast since now, my refrigerator is stocked with menus.

Been here two months and have already had 3 visitors and 5 more to go. People have said, “Wow, Candy you must be really popular.” It’s funny how much your popularity increases when you get a place in NYC. The burning question is, had I moved to Boise, Idaho, would I still need to put out clean towels biweekly? Actually, I take that back, Boise has stuff to offer. What if I had moved to Mobile, Alabama?

Yes, they’re a pain the ass. Constantly, asking me if I know how to get to places. What to do, where to eat, how to get back home…like I know, right? It’s been like the blind leading the blind. Friends frustrated with my map illiteracy, the weather (in their defense, it does quite suck), and the lack of hot boys, so they say.

Well, as far as the past week, I don’t have much of a rebuttal, no sweets for the eyes. But not all was bad in fact, had we found some cuteness, we may have not had the unforgettable NY experience we did. It is the search of boys that is quality time amongst girls, by getting to know what your girlfriend seeks in a guy you gain the comfort of knowing that you will never fight over the same guy. By getting lost, we were able to walk and talk 5 (or 50) extra blocks. And, by being weak Cali-weather spoiled girls, we were obliged to stay in, out from the nasty dewy rain, and whine and dine over the lack of cute boys while flipping through countless menus.

The hotel is vacant now. No occupancy reserved until next month. Unexpectedly, I find myself a feeling alone...and mind you, I have lived alone for some time now and this is unfamiliar territory. I have always maintained that my favorite part of the day is coming home to a quiet empty house. Strange, I kind of miss having my girl waiting for me with Indian, Japanese and Mexican cuisine, “I couldn’t decide, she chuckles.” *cute* Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t move to Alabama.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Goodbye and Hello

I am alive. Contrary to popular belief, I have not vanished to some small island with millions of neurotics and assimilated. No possible way that could have happened ; )

It’s ironic how when you don’t have time to write is when you should because there are actually things to write about. Thus, a synopsis of the past 60 days, incidentally one of the most pivotal two months of my life…

moved out of the Bay/moved into NYC
sold car/bought Metro card
said bye to friends/said hello to new ones

Now, it’s September and school is three weeks deep, summer is fading and like the fall tranquility in Central Park (and I use the word “tranquility” selectively in reference to New York City) I, too, feel like I can walk again rather than run, chew not swallow, and finally breathe rather than gasping for some NYC taxi smog-filled air. Just about settled into my new home and school. So, what am I left to do?

Light a cigarette from my $8 pack, sip on a $4.50 cappucino, endure through the humid heat, hop over urine puddles at the Time Square subway station, hop from bar to bar in Greenwich Village, eat in Washington Square Park, rollerblade in Central Park with an ice cream cone, weave through orange cones in the Bronx to get to the best paella in the city, jump back on the 6 train, a.k.a. Carrie Bradshaw's neighborhood, a.k.a. my new home.

And that’s where I’m at. It’s an aged, pre-war, above the neighborhood bar, laundry mat, and nail salon building built out of a shoebox, or at least it’s the same square footage. Okay, I just stretched my arms out and touched wall to wall. Everything is dual purpose: the bed doubles as the couch, table also a desk, bathtub can be used as a guest bed. In spite of tiny apartment and tiny budget I would like to have guests…only from Cali, of course.

Wow, I actually do miss my family and friends. Never had to miss them before, having been raised and schooled in the same area my entire life. When I told family and friends that I would miss them at my farewell, it fell to be true. So, what am I left to do?

Guess I'll have to see...

Monday, July 14, 2003

Merry Go Round?

Libidinal follies create chaotic mental traffic in the aftermath. Thoughts honk at each other, crossing paths, no palpable path is in view. Lights flash in efforts to admonish signs of hope. Route taken is retraced to ferret out the erroneous turn. Once located, the awry hook is further blundered by gyratory spins. Final rotations are plenary before succumbing to the need and moreover, desire to embark on a new manifested kismet of a kiss. A kiss that will lead to an all too familiar epicurean quandary of a phrenic cordon orbiting its vicious cycle. Round and round we go...

If we know we're going in circles and are certain of a lack of destination, why do we keep going? The aimless route is a road often traveled. A "for instance" would be good here. In gambling, it is said that it the house wins. Knowing that the game is designed in favor of the house, why do we still play? For "fun"? Is it fun to play a losing battle? As a dog that heedlessly spins around in chase of his tail, do we do the same in life, in love, in goods and bads? Can it be equated to a wayward drive? Is this such our days, our nights?
One Fine Day

I finally went on a long overdue date. We have been seeing each other for quite some time but lately, I’ve been busy (okay, not really) but, the past few times we saw each other was in groups. I figured that we should give it another chance after all, there were some good memories in the past. So, I planned for some one-on-one quality time, I got all dressed, made reservations and headed out. *Smiling* let me tell you, I was glad I did.

His name is San Francisco (he doesn’t like to be called “Frisco,” he’ll forgive out-of-towners but not locals). All metaphors and puns set aside, I had a date with my city. SF is a beautiful place and if you pay attention it is a site of deep humanity, romance, and heart. Yes, I was tempted to title this “I Heart SF” but I did not want to draw a comparison to any other city because San Francisco truly is a city of its own. It has the heart and soul of a blues club in the Mission, the charm of a cute but slightly reticent boy from the Marina, the eclectic fun of a parade in the Castro and the beauty of both its bridges and surrounding waters. The motley of space, greens, culture, set up for all walks of life: families, singles, friends, gays and lovers. Yes, lovers.

The date began with lunch at Golden Gate Park. I picked up a sandwich from Little Lucas – oh, I failed to mention that SF is home to the best dining experience in the world. Where else can you have a 6 course, 5 star, 4 hundred dollar dinner (for two) by chef Gary Danko himself and then head down the road for a foldable slice of heaven at Pizza Orgasmica for $2? (okay, perhaps NYC’s Nobu and Gray’s Papaya may pose a little competition but they’re a long cab ride apart). So, I’m at the park, copping a squat under a tree, eating my rosemary, garlic, dijon chicken sandwich, swigging my iced tea and engaging in of my favorite pastimes, people watching. I do a lot of things alone: watch movies, go shopping even dine out alone but when I eat alone I’m always bringing along a book (alright, magazine) or the paper (okay, the Style Section). This time I wanted to go sans the literature and not have to be armed with some rationale for being alone. It isn’t easy at first. In fact, being with just yourself in public can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, the discomfort was quickly alleviated by the surrounding activity. There was a diverse group of children playing in the park. On one slide there was a diverse group of children trained to each other. Then, on the other side of the park and age spectrum, there was an elderly couple caning around the park, outside hands dragging their canes and inside hands holding on to each other. Since, it was mid-week, mid-day, I figured if I wanted to see people of ages in the middle of that bracket I would have to leave the park. I take a final swill of the tea.

Now, I’m sipping coffee at a sidewalk cafĂ© near the corner of Haight and Ashbury. This is a fun street. At one glance, you have grunge-like skaters doing tricks then across the street you have girls dropping $300 for a knit top. Then, there’s the elusive holding of hands. I spot a couple crossing the intersection and I’m wondering if they’ll make it across safely because they’re so preoccupied with each other. Typically, I make a child-like, jealous-filled gag reflex at these sightings, especially when the only thing my hand is holding is that of Mr. Marlboro. But I don’t. It is rare to see a couple walking together actually walking together. They were talking, laughing and she even did the hair-flip.

Now, it’s almost dinner time. I abandon my reservations, the Little Lucas (trust me ain’t nothing “Little” about this sandwich) had me still full. Also, full from all that the city had to offer, I decide to call it a day- you should always know when to end a good date. Obvious to state, it was one fine day.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Sound Asleep

My mom is sleeping on my couch. Full from the heavy dinner and buzzed from the light cocktails, she is out ladies and gentlemen. It’s confirmed I do get my lack of tolerance from my mother. She had a Pina Colada, and really only ate the whip cream before she turned red and fell asleep in the car during a 15 minute drive home. I had to bribe her with a Will Smith, Martin Lawrence duo to entice her upstairs and from falling into deep slumber in my car. I said, “Mom, I got the Bad Boys DVD.” I have no idea how a conservative, first generation Asian woman came to love black comedy but the woman cannot get enough of the brothers and the Kings (pronounced Kangs, she corrects me). It worked, she came up. Then, she resumed her sleeping position, feet curled and body balled.

Her irregular snoring pattern is what I have been listening to for the past hour on this warm Saturday night. It is half past midnight and it must be 80 degrees out. It would have been a perfect night to have spent out in the city- stroll around North Beach, bar hop in the Mission or the grab a cocktail and a slice a pizza, at Pizza Orgasmica- yum, in the Marina. But nope, I’m listening to momma Jun saw wood (Jun- she finally decided to take my stepdad’s last name; I’m glad I didn’t take after her stubbornness).

I wonder how many countless nights she stayed up to tend to my cries, whines, tantrums, or just to listen to me snore. I don’t think I have ever seen my mom sleep. I want to say that she looks so peaceful and pretty in her sleep but she mostly looks disfigured and sounds wheezy. But that’s what must be love…to hear and see undesired sounds and sights and still want to cover them with a blanket.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

The Mens' Rules

Amusing… and enlightening.

> We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now
> here are the rules from the male side. Please note:
> these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!
> # 1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big
> girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you
> need it down. You don't hear us complaining about
> you leaving it down.
> # 1. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live
> with it.
> # 1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the
> changing of the tides. Let it be.
> # 1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never
> going to think of it that way.
> # 1. Crying is blackmail.
> # 1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this
> one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not
> work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it! We'll
> get it for you, but just LET US KNOW WHAT YOU
> WANT!!!
> # 1. We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and
> anniversaries on the calendar. Remind us frequently
> beforehand.
> # 1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes. What makes
> you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair,
> out of thirty, would look good with your dress?
> # 1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to
> almost every question. Please pick one.
> # 1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help
> solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your
> girlfriends are for.
> # 1. A headache that lasts for seventeen months is a
> problem. See a doctor.
> # 1. Let us know about that funny noise in your car
> engine as soon as you hear it.
> # 1. Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible
> in an argument. In fact, all comments become null
> and void after 7 days.
> # 1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret
> girls, don't expect us act like soap opera guys.
> # 1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
> Don't ask us. We refuse to answer, but still love
> you.
> # 1. If something we said can be interpreted two
> ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we
> meant the other one.
> # 1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have
> to say during commercials.
> # 1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions,
> and neither do we.
> # 1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows
> default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit,
> not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no
> idea what Mauve is.
> # 1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
> # 1. We are not mind readers and we never will be.
> Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how
> little we care about you.
> #1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing,"
> we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are
> lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
> # 1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer
> to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
> # 1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely
> anything you wear is fine. Really, you look fine!!!
> # 1. It is neither in your best interest or ours to
> take the quiz together. No, it doesn't matter which
> quiz.
> # 1. NASCAR is as exciting for us as handbags are
> for you.
> # 1. I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.
> # 1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have
> to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we
> really don't mind that, it's like campin'.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Home Bitter Home

Okay, officially sad. My apartment has been rented. Very improbable (and sad) coincidence- I was down in my leasing office to pay rent and, as I was walking through, the leasing agent tells this newlywed couple that apt. #7213 will be vacant as of August 2 :(

2 years, this place has provided me with shelter, a place to store shoes, handbags and offered me a haven away from anyone and everything when I just needed to be with me. Now, I will wake up to my parents amplified alarm, live off my their vegetarian diet and sleep in 104 degree Walnut Creek heat. Oh, did I mention no smoking?!? If you need to contact me, I can be reached at the Gin Sook and Yong Soo Rehabilitation Clinic. I will be checking in for 30 days before I leave for the Big Sa-gwa* to negate all my parents' disciplinary work.

*Korean- apple

Monday, June 30, 2003

Naked yet, Jaded

In a time when cynicism is the growing trend it is difficult to believe in the good things, especially when it comes to dating, sex and, if we dare, love? We now live in a time when nihilism and skepticism are trite reactions to anything remotely positive. Is it our generation? The generation that lived through WWI drank milkshakes with two straws, gave letterman jackets and went steady. Similarly, WWII survivors threw up peace signs at every breath, braided flowers into their hair and protested in the name of love.

Today, divorce rates are up, promiscuity is well practiced and monogamy translates to monotony. Rather than romantic idylls being written, tales of casual sex and elusiveness fuels the mass. So, what happened to romance? Where did the love go?

Replaced by incredulous sentiments, it has been so far skewed that the reverse feels natural. When all is fine, nothing but smooth sailing and calm seas as far as the eye can see, we start to panic. Rancor has taken such a toll that when things are actually problem-free something feels wrong. Without the hunt, the drama, the ever-so-seductive withholding dance we find ourselves in disbelief. Apprehensive about the placid nature, we stir up conflicts in our own mind. We mislead and misread. It is difficult to comprehend and, do we dare, accept a wave-less sail. We need that perfect storm to assure us that it is headed in the right direction. Without a major conflict there is no major relationship. Have we become so jaded that even when we're laying right next to someone in bed we still don't know if we're interested and if the feeling is mutual?

In lieu of appreciating the good elements we question alternate motives. Perhaps, it's time we smile when a guy gets out of his car to greet you, walks you to your door or calls just to say hello.

Have you ever...

- Had a kiss with someone that was more intense than sex with some others?
- Held someone's pinky because their hand was too big? ;)
- Dial the first 6 digits of a phone number and chicken out on the 7th one?
- Gotten a call from the one you were waiting to hear from and then let the voicemail pick up?
- Had a last call of the day?
- Actually made love?
- Deleted someone from your phone so that you wouldn't be tempted to call them?
- Felt like heartbreak was literal? Like, you actually felt your aorta aching or something?
- Went out on a rebound date and ended up thinking about your ex even more?
- Slept next to a person you didn't really know?
- Woke up next to a person you didn't want to know?
- Had to get used to a new kiss?
- Said "thank you"? as a response to "I love you"?
- Ran into an ex and wondered what you were thinking?
- Thought you would never have it again? But then did?
- Been tempted to make a call at 2 a.m.? ;)
- Rehearsed voice messages before calling them or drafted several emails before sending them?
- Woke up next to someone in the morning and was actually glad that they were still there?
- Been so long out of a serious relationship that you wondered if you could remember how to be a gf/bf?
- Kept your eyes closed a few seconds after the kiss just to stay in the moment a little longer?

Friday, June 27, 2003


Scene: W Hotel. Thursday night. Out with a girlfriend. (although, this scene has taken place at many locales, many times).

“Where are you from?”
“East Bay.”
“No, I mean where are you originally from?”
“East Bay.”
“I mean, like China, Japan, Korea?”
“I’m not from any of those places.”
“I grew up in Walnut Creek and now I live in Emeryville.”

Frustrated with my answer, the ignorant man leaves.

In a city like San Francisco, where liberalism is rife, awareness is heightened and laissez-faire is the attitude, ignorance still prevails, even in its nightlife. My girlfriends and I earnestly attempt to frequent various mixed scenes, Asian, White, Black, even a little salsa, straight, gay, house, hip-hop, trip-hop, shi- shi, not so shi-shi, et al. In all honesty, it is not because we impel ourselves to be open-minded, broaden our horizons or be culturally advantaged but, simply because we get bored attending the scene. Nonetheless, even with all different social climates San Francisco offers, sometimes it all feels the same.

Commonly, the question of my ethnic background is asked. This applies to all the scenes. At white parties, I get asked where I’m from, or even worse they try to guess. “You’re Japanese, right?” or “Ah-ri-got-do.” Yikes. This even happens at the Asian Parties, “You’re Korean, right?” except they usually guess right.” Ostensibly, there are certain pervading questions that, without fail, will be asked during the course of an evening out.

1) “Where are you from?”
2) “What do you do?”
3) “Where did you go to school?”

Admittedly, I do the same. But I try not to. Really hard. Sometimes, it needs to be asked in context with the conversation, sometimes you’re just really curious, sometimes you just need a filler (filler n. used to fill up time during convo., Candy’s Dictionary). In any case, it is truly refreshing when you can initiate a conversation without milling the routine inquries. Sometimes, I feel like I’m at some convention without one of those “Hello my name is _____” tags except, its worse because after you fill in your name, it needs to be followed by job, age, and residence.” What if those stickers just read “hello.” What about a simple “Hi”?

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Chick Chat

(phone rings)
(caller ID: Mary Jane Doe)

Me: Hey
MJD: 'sup
Me: What sup with ju?
MJD: Nothing really. You?
Me: Shiet.
MJD: Sooo...when do you think we'll settle?
Me: Huh?!? Uhhh..excuse me, can you please put Mary back on the phone?
MJD: Seriously. How much longer can we do this?
Me: Do what?
MJD: The exhausting clubbing, stuffy bars, series of bad dates...
Me: Ummm...isn't this complaint a little premature? We only just hit our mid- twenties.
MJD: (pouting) I know, I know. I just need a little affirmation.
Me: Hmmm...well, 36 is my scary age.
MJD: What happens at 36?
Me: Hopefully not what's happening now. Well, actually 35 sounds like a nice round number to turn a new chapter but you know how I'm always running late, so I'm giving myself an extra year, just for cushion.
MJD: So, by 35 you'll be good? Ready to settle?
Me: (pause...sigh) ...there are times when I think I cannot try on another outfit just to wait in another non-moving guestlist line, drink another red bull vodka to come home to bounce off the walls and finally exert my energy via blog. Then, there are times when I can't wait to cram my toes into my new stilettos, to check out some restaurant turned bar/club opening with my girls and with hope.
MJD: Who's Hope?
Me: Not hope as in a girl, hope as in faith. Faith that there is someone out there who will make me want to give up the hope of meeting others. Are you gettin' me?
MJD: I never get you. I actually don't know why I call you for things like this.
Me: You call me because your misery needs a little company. But you're mistaken on thinking that what you're feeling is despair. Look, desolation even looms upon those in relationships. C'mon, we've been there. Haven't you ever laid right next to a bf and felt utter solitude? Thinking, this guy doesn't really know me which may be negotiated into being understandable but what's not, is that he's totally fine with it. That he's okay with you not divulging everything. In fact, he'd prefer you to limit what you share?
MJD: Your past relationships make me sad.
Me: (chuckle)
MJD: I don't know if you made me want to cut off my left ring finger or call up an ex and ask for him back.
Me: (nodding)
MJD: Hello?
Me: I'm nodding. Hey, it's almost 11:30...
MJD: You and your Letterman, you're sick. Well, see you Thursday night. Did you get the forward?
Me: Yeah. We have to be there by 10:30. Pick you up at 11.
MJD: Coo.
Me: Good night you hussie.


Sunday, June 22, 2003

Me...Uncut, Uncensored, Unplugged.

- I used to chase boys on the playground and make them kiss me.
- I refused to go to school on the first day of second grade because my mom wouldn't let me wear her high heels.
- I know how to give myself highlights and a French manicure.
- I know how to change a tire and do an oil change.
- I used to turn on the sprinklers on my younger brother when he mowed the lawn. It never seemed to get old.
- I used to prefer going to the bank, carwash, and post office with my dad over going to Chuch E. Cheeze with my mom.
- My dad and I favored each other growing up. Now, I see him once a year and I see my mom as the strongest woman I know.
- I stop to take a smoke break during runs.
- I threw up the first time I tried a cigarette.
- I spent Saturdays going to Korean School growing up. I spent Saturdays recovering from Fridays in college.
- I have held 8 retail jobs between high-school and college.
- I used to clean animal cages in elementary for $2.50 an hour. I preferred it over baby-sitting.
- The best trip of my life was in 8th grade to Washington D.C. with the rest of the geeky G.A.T.E.'s. My first crush was on that trip, a pilot from Westpoint.
- I have gotten into a fight. I beat up someone who punked my younger brother incidentally, he became my first boyfriend.
- In college, I used to eat breakfast at 3, lunch at 8 and dinner at midnight, from the same foodcourt.
- I have never been to my school's gym.
- I step on the scale several times during the day.
- I actually read magazines.
- I had the privilege of attending the school with the second largest library in the country (second to the Library of Congress). I have never spent more than an hour in my school library.
- I watch TV with remote in one hand and thesaurus in the other.
- I'm not scared of much. I freeze when children approach me.
- I get into bed with a novel and wake up with a fragrance ad stuck to my face.
- While others may dance or sing in private (admit it), I act out monologues from fave movies.
- I like the sight of vacuum tracks on my carpet, small girls driving SUV's, and guys pulling up their shirt to wipe sweat off their forehead during a basketball game.
- I never tried out for a sport in high-school.
- I had braces, a retainer and a head gear (no, I did not have to wear it to school but I did have to wear it overnight leaving an impression the next day).
- I hope grunge makes its way back. Hair-band boys have timeless looks.
- I do not like to pet dogs. I do not think their coat is that soft.
- I would have no qualm about owning a chinchilla fur coat.
- I started wearing make-up in fourth grade. I won't go to a Blockbuster without some facepaint.
- I love girly colors: red, pink, purple, et al.
- Rarely, do I have both hands on the wheel. One is either changing music, ashing, or reaching for my latte.
- My license was suspended for a year for excessive tickets. I got caught driving on a suspended license and had my car impounded. My mom revoked my license then, I listened. I am more scared of my mom than the law.
- I completed honors Spanish with 19 absences.
- I cut school just to go back home.
- I'm a caffeine junkie: coffee, tea, soda. I used to go through a bottle of No Doz per semester during exams.
- I go to Costco every other week and get the same three things: water, gum and health bars.
- Most of my kisses were from church retreats.
- I love stand-up kisses, falls in line with forehead kisses. I don't remember the last time having one not lying down.
- I used to have a crush on Parker Lewis, Tyler (from Life Goes On), and Alex P. Keaton.
- When I got the chicken pox and learned that it was contagious I hugged my brother for the first time.
- I always get in costume for Halloween.
- I'm not ticklish. For the right guy, I pretend to be.
- I think photography is one of the sexiest passions.
- I have difficulty listing hobbies or skills of my own.
- I wonder what ever happened to Lauryn Hill.
- I've always wanted a tattoo, dreads, and a tongue piercing.
- I'm needle-phobic.
- I do stop to smell flowers.
- I take baths.
- My college roommate and I used to make CD's, pick up Foster's milkshakes, get high and drive along the coast.
- I never get out of bed right when I wake up, I lay there for a few minutes. I never fall asleep right when I climb into bed, I lay there for a few minutes.
- My senior year, I asked my mom if I could skip college and go to NY to try theatre acting.
- I wish I had the coordination of bartenders.
- Right now, I have four bruises to no one else's blame but my own.
- I pack a suitcase for overnight trips.
- I wish I had naturally curly hair.
- I don't know why I wear a bra.
- I don't mind silver and gold together.
- Roles I would die to play: Carrie Bradshaw in SATC, Lisa (Angelina Jolie) in Girl Interrupted, Aunt Jackie in Roseanne (she's so spastic, I love it), and Carmella in Sopranos.
- I live alone in a one bedroom, I grew up with a family of four in a studio.
- At all costs, I will never live by train tracks again, even for rent-control.
- Growing up, I wore hand-me-ups, my younger brother's shirts.
- I spent all last weekend at thrift stores searching for classic Lee denims.
- Kissing a girl wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be.
- I have seen more movies by myself than with others.
- I have tried acid and watched Pink Floyd videos. I am glad to not be born in the 70's.
- I don't care for poetry but poetry slams always make me want to write.
- I never use the white towels because I'm always dying my hair.
- I wish I didn't have to use a stool to put away the dishes.
- I make my bed every morning.
- I never wash my car.
- I played violin for 7 years. I know how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb.
- I spend much time surfing on the internet for clothes and shoes. I have never made a purchase online.
- I have never worn about a third of my shoes.
- I do not have a problem with saying that I met a guy at a club.
- I haven't actively attended church since high-school.
- I have never doubted the existence of God.
- I can't go over an hour conversation with a girlfriend without gossiping.
- I have had the same friends for about 10 years.
- I have never witnessed a sunrise or a sunset.
- I hope for someone, a sunset, a sunrise, and a blanket so, that I may stop chasing boys.


“To wait or not to wait," that is the question. Sex becomes less and less imperative to think about post virgin-life. The parallel of it to some space shuttle launch is reduced to more of a comparison to an end-date activity. Yet, even if it’s on a much lighter scale, there is still a reminiscent contemplation when encountered with the primordial debate of how soon is too soon? I have always advised girlfriends to have sex on their terms, meaning do it when they feel its right, when they feel ready, etcetera, etcetera. To forget The Rules (as far as I’m concerned that book may be the guide to getting married but it's the anti-Bible for dating), to not worry about the stigma of having sex on the first night. Unfortunately, that repute is undeniable. Seemingly, there is an assumption made about girls who do. Perhaps, suppositions like, being easy, having been around or lack of esteem. What about the presumption of a woman simply wanting it, not to please the man, but herself? What about the idea of her wanting just that from a guy and nothing more? What about the possibility of woman having sex like a man? "oh" *mouth over hand* Unfortunately, this situation epitomizes a double standard. I have heard some solid, if not amusing, rebuttals to it.

“A guy could just as easily dump you if you sleep with him on the first date as he can if you wait until the tenth” (Samantha Jones, SATC).

“Sleep with the guy on the first date and he thinks you’re a slut. Sleep with him on the second date and he thinks he’s irresistible” (Mary Jane Doe).

“If you want him to call you at 2 a.m., sleep with him, if you want to be taken out, wait.” (Mary Jane Doe Jr.)

I say...*exhale* Don’t sleep with him if you don’t want to, but also don’t sleep with him as some sort of bribe in hopes to trail him along. Sex shouldn’t be used as a weapon against you or for you. And that’s that. *light cigarette*

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Mash M.A.S.H.

Set out to support a newly remodeled mom and pop book store by attending its opening, I somehow make a wrong turn and end up at Barnes and Nobles (I know, bad me). I slap $3 down for an insipid drink they call cappuccino (Starbucks, really bad me) and work my way over to the periodicals (really, really bad me). I arrive at the “Women’s Interest” isle, it’s about double the “Men’s Interest” isle. I hadn't noticed that before. To all men, please recognize that women are subjected to double the amount of physique perfectionism - damn, must be nice to be a guy sometimes. Not to mention, that half of the men’s mags are of physically ideal women- damn, must be nice to be a playmate.

Flipping through The New Yorker (okay, People), I spot two young ladies reaching for bridal mags. They must be in college or fresh grads. Curious, I investigate their left hand, no ring. They show-and-tell a few pages to each other exhibiting the kind of dress they want to wear to their expected wedding. I swap my mag out for Bazaar in hopes that it will elicit an idea for an outfit to wear to a new club opening. As I do so, I wonder if I’ll ever have the bridal genes or maternal instinct. Recognizing that I’m barely at the quarter century mark yet, I wonder if I was able to be immune to all the “oohs” and “ahh’s” of becoming a wife and/or mother. It’s almost impossible to not be susceptible to it- the programming starts at an early age. Nevertheless, there are those who question the system, those who question if they’re compatible with that program.

What if you don't know what you want your dress to look like? What if you don't know where you want to honeymoon? What if you don't know how many kids you want? What if you don't have your kids names picked out? What if the idea of ending up "old and alone" doesn't sound as bad as people say? What if it's hard to know what you truly want because we've already been told what's best for us?

M.A.S.H. (acronym: mansion, apartment, shack, house) is the name of this game that young girls play in elementary school (it's probably outdated now, *sigh of relief*). It consists of a series of questions regarding certain desires for the future: type of home, husband's name, number of children, children’s names, and honeymoon locale. And that was it. There was no question on what you wanted to become, where you wanted to travel, what you wanted to study in college, nope, none of that. Just hubby names and how many boys and how many girls. The only question I didn’t struggle with was, "What kind of car do you wish for?" (right now, can't decide between the Aston Martin and the Mazerati). To that end, for those who walk the isle, congrats on finding "the one" but do not feel obliged to throw that bouquet towards everyone, some may be just fine sitting with their cake and champagne.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Spam Exam

I received an email with a questionnaire on love, dating and sex. Looked fun.

1) Are you married?

2) Are you in a relationship?

3) Have you had sex?

4) Have you had casual sex?

5) When was your last relationship?
Few years ago.

6) Why did you break-up?
“Irreconcilable differences.”

7) Are you still friends?
Sure, why not.

8) Was it a sexual relationship?
In the beginning.

9) Do you believe that there is someone out there for everyone?
More so. Some are lucky to have had more than one.

10) What age do you want to get married?
Shouldn’t you ask if one wants to get married first?

11) How many children do you want?
I think I want to have children.

12) Do you believe in love at first sight?
With a person?

13) Have you ever been in love?

14) Have you ever felt heartbreak?
Didn’t I just answer that?

15) What type of guy are you attracted to?
The type that doesn’t fall into one type.

16) What is your idea of a perfect date?
An evening far from perfection. Easy and comfortable enough to display minor flaws and habits.

17) What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?
Not thing, things. In high-school, I used to walk to school about a mile rather than drive so that I could walk home with my boyfriend. It gave us a chance to walk and talk “awww.”

18) What is the most romantic thing that has been done for you?
Oh, okay I have one. In high-school (man, did romance expire in high-school? Or, is it just me? Don't
answer that, it'll make me sad). So, in high-school *shake head* I was assigned a biology project where
I had to take a full roll of photos of the selected wildlife topic, mine was mountainous flowers. On my
way to develop the photos, I accidentally opened the camera exposing the film. It had taken me weeks to
find two dozen varying flowers. I hiked. That's all I have to say. Sobbing, I tell my boyfriend. The
weekend before it was due I had to attend a leadership conference *eh-hem*geek* When I return I open
my mail and there was a slightly thicker envelope. There were brilliant shots of 24 beautiful flowers.
He was the guy I wallked over a mile to school for.

19) What turns you on?
Smells, colognes misted so lightly that you have to get real close to smell it (I guess that’s the
idea behind colognes). Guys fighting during a ball game. Scars. Tattoos, sometimes. Boxer breifs. Rain
thunder and lightening. Kisses on the nape *chills* Being carried into bed. Being touched on my face.

20) What turns you off?
Condom-prepared on a first date (even if). Most accents. Guys who consume more chocolate than I do
(hard to do). Being addressed "sweetie." Twin size beds. Sagging pants. Super clean white shoes. Long
nails. Muted laughter.

The friend who emailed me the survey gleaned it off an online dating service, which I have no problem with. Kudos to those who don’t bitch about how there’s no one out there and rather, are actively searching. I’m just a little old-fashioned and lazy for that. In any case, it was a nice and easy, light fun quiz. You are supposed to remit your answers to the link and supposedly they have a “mate waiting for you!” Instead, I answered them onto my blog. My friend emailed back saying that I “didn’t answer some of them right…that I played the game wrong.” *Nodding* A game of love, dating and sex and I played it wrong. I didn’t need to take a quiz to know that.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Velvet Rope- Part II

Hemmed and hawed, the rhombus figure diffuses, shilly-shallying amid two hordes so close yet, worlds apart. Marooned by the discotheque personnel and fellow patrons, the anxious four ardently grow distant from the point they so wanted to be near, the velvet rope. Enticed by the fruitful offering, they stride towards a more blissful rapture, the bar.

A game plan is enacted, one pair charges towards booze heaven while the other duo stash the coats for the price of half a drink. At las, hands free of leather goods and occupied by precipitating glasses, relaxation engulfs them. Simpering from the feat of landing destination, sighs of contentment are exhaled. Only to be followed by inhales of combusting tobacco.

Drinks dwindling down, final swigs are tossed back so that an encore may take place. With a limited selection at the smoke permissive, al fresco bar, shots are forced. Salted wrists are licked, chins fly up, and emerald citrons are pierced by shrill incisors. Bis for the carousing soldiers. Feeble tolerance onlookers gape with scrunched mugs. Less than a few drags left before the butts start losing their letters. Final puffs are drawn by the loaded and spirited before proceeding to the ring of feigned hoofers.

Move, groove, swirl, twirl, booty-shake ‘til the body aches. Stilettos wobble as the lasses flare their arms, stoop their bodies and lean towards nearby bosoms. In spite of the music continuing to pulsate to the thud of the bass, sharp shimmies digress to a melodic movement. Fatigued figures exchange cues of exhaustion, glances at the time and coil closer together. Suddenly, a prospect restores strength.

Tall and estranged, the brute stature shoots a fleeting look. Drink in one hand, the other in the pocket, steadily rocking to and fro. Reacting instinctively, hands are cupped from one’s mouth to another’s ear, forming a halo. Murmurs of the eye-candy are muttered until all look over in choreographed motion. The simultaneous head whips and hair flips create a tumult of ruby-red chagrins. Lashes bat, half-smiles emit, jowls bow. Nothing extends beyond this. The picturesque slicker wanes into the mob. The halo severs and succeeds into an indestructible chain weaving its way under the metallic revolving ball, past the vinyl spinning discs.

Sweat dawdles before the ears. Temples are dabbed as the pie-eyed girls mosey over to the paper-less, puke-full lavatory to be greeted by a line equitable to the one of the snap tap. Relinquishing to her bladder, a brave filly disregards the gender-labeled doors and enters the one without a skirt. Feeling like she hacked into the restrictive urinal system, she smirks as she parts her way through the line of leg-crossed girls.

Flashing false smiles, chuckling with effort, she mingles with the singles. Trite conversations of geographical backgrounds, educational accomplishments and occupational statuses are swapped. Leaning forward and rising on the tips of her toes she blares to the fellow that she must visit the ladies room.

Meandering solo amongst the tired lushes, she stumbles into the same elusive figure whom dimmed his way off the floor. Pardons are graced as they persist in opposing directions. She jolts. She considers the possibility of the foreigner being just as timid, if not more. Her inhibitions grow increasingly wary then, the notorious bawl of last call. She succumbs to her desire to uphold her self-initiated promise to fraternize with the unknown. She takes two steps back as he rewardingly takes two forward. They smile, they blush. All that was needed was a stack of papers plummeting to the floor, scattering everywhere so that the gentleman could assist her in gathering them resulting in the bumping of heads leading to a voluntarily blinded kiss. Or, a milkshake to be smudged on the barely there, fuzz of a fruit, mustache so that the girl could graze her thumb across it, before they ever-so-slowly plant lips on lips. Instead, in synchronized waves, they slant forward, backward, forward, backward physically debating on who should speak first. She opens her mouth, hurriedly trying to articulate a cajoling opener, she settles for “hi.” He says “bye” after the ten digits are obtained. Again, they head diametrically, except this time, with discrete grins.

Her blitheness interrupted by friends hollering from across the mass only to be heard as a faint whisper. Ineffectively, she mouths back to receive a blank response. Finally, she communicates via arms, hands and head. She nods to acknowledge that lights are on, bottles are empty and music is muted. Pointing at the coat-keeper, she clamors to reunite at the velvet rope.

Cables twined from wooly, deep eggplant twills of velvet marks the spot.
Gathered, they look satiable as they conjure up a place to dine, whine or speak of the fine.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Drum Roll Please

The list continues…
I forgot how fun it was to feign a critic so, I dug up some old archive entries and uncovered a few lists from the past.

If you could sleep with any 5 celebs, who would they be?

Year 1999:
1) Joshua Jackson
2) Bruce Lee
3) Mark Wahlberg
4) Angelina Jolie (one word, Gia. She makes me question my sexuality).
5) Anthony Edwards (the hotter doctor, step aside Clooney)
* honorable mention: Freddie Prinze Jr.

Year 2001:
1) Jude Law
2) Danny Masterson (Steve Hyde, That 70’s Show)
3) David Letterman (he is the man)
4) Johnny Depp
5) Steven Dorff (vampires are hot)
* honorable mention: Taye Diggs
*honorable runner: Guy Ritchie

Drum Roll Please...Year 2003:
1) Marshall Mathers (don't ask- he just does it for me)
2) Dan Ashley (He makes me watch the news [Bay Area Broadcaster])
3) Johnny Depp (safe bet)
4) Justin Timberlake (could he be any cuter iin "Like I Love You" ?!?)
5) Bruce Springsteen (yesterday, today, and tomorrow)
* honorable mention: Kiefer Sutherland (we know that he's capable of a full day's stamina)
*honorable runner: Jon Bon Jovi (like wine, better with age)
(it's been a good year)

Thursday, June 12, 2003


A guy shared a “Top Ten List” with me. No, not David Letterman- I wish…I know, I know it’s gross to have a crush on a balding man with a gap between his two front teeth, I can’t help it, he just does it for me*yum*

It was a list of turn offs by a girl. Here is some that made it on the list:

1) stupidity
2) poor hygiene
3) lack of humor- really? Do guys say to their friends, “Dude, I met this hot chick at the club last night but she wasn't funny."

The remainder on the list fairly continues to state the obvious: selfishness, arrogance, etc.
Leveling the playing field with innocuous retaliation, I have concocted lists of my own.

Top 5 Turn Offs by a Guy:

1) Picky Eaters- Perhaps, it’s because I’m not a finicky eater thus, I feel like an oaf when I attempt to clean off their plate so, it’s really nice when a guy isn’t selective about food.
2) Better Style- I wouldn’t want a fella to suggest to me which accessories go with which handbag. Why? Just because.
3) “Sweetie”- I used to know a guy who always addressed me “sweetie” Ughhh! Something about “sweetie” rubs me in a not so sweet way. It’s a term of affection used by friends, relatives,your local baker, drycleaner, cashiers…too universal, too many non-romantic, non-sexual associations (and you wouldn’t want that now would you?). Personally, I could do without any term of endearment.
4) Female Best Friends- Call me narrow-minded but I do not get it. It’s much hotter to think of a guy out with his friends shooting hoops, drinking beer, swearing, spitting, what have you, versus imagining him out with his girl best friend, helping her shop. What happened to good old fashion testosterone?
5) Tired and Expired Swingers Rule- waiting to call; stretching the time as far as the elasticity of a wait period can extend is not only transparent but, ironically negates the attempted effect. The whole idea behind waiting to call is to appear aloof, to play that elusive figure that isn’t thinking too much about you. When a guy calls more than 5 days later, he’s been thinking too much about the call. Yes, there is such a thing as calling too early, try not to drunk dial him/her the night of encounter.

Top 5 Turn Ons by a Guy:

1) Sidewalk Tuck- simple yet, so effectively sweet and comforting when a guy tucks you to the inner part of the sidewalk and puts himself on the street side.
2) Forehead Kisses- need I say more?
3) Smell of fresh laundry + light cologne + lighter sweat (wouldn’t want him to smell better than me). Preference: Downy April Fresh/Snuggles. Complimented by: Hugo Boss, Issey Miyake, Pleasures for Men, Gio by Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Curve by Clairborne, or Davidoff’s Cool Water (don’t laugh, it’s a classic).
4) Scars, mended Bones- any sign of physical activity. Even stained nails from the grease of their car, or dry hands from fiddling with nature
5) Hats- love ‘em all. Baseball caps, beanies, newsboys, the only undesirable would be the bucket hat, they're cuter on girls.

Comprehensive “On/Off” List by Candice Me Young Chung.

Just bored…

Top 5 Designers of:

1) Christian Loboutin
2) Jimmy Choo
3) Sergio Rossi
4) Pumas tied w/ Hogans
5) Manolo Blahnik
* Breakthrough honorable:
Collaboration of Marc Jacobs
and Louis Vuitton

1) Fendi- "duh"
2) Gucci
3) Prada/ Miu Miu
4) Tod's/Hermes (Birkin)- It would be violation of Purse Law to not add them
5) Chanel
* Breakthrough: LuLu Guinness

1) Valentino
2) Diane Von Furstenburg
3) Yves Saint Laurent
4) Emanuel Ungaro
5) Anna Molinari
* Breakthrough: Luca Luca

Reminder: Birthday- March 5.
Velvet Rope

Dizzy from circling around the same three blocks in search of a non-painted curb. Bebop booming out of tweeters that feebly channel the sounds of maximum volume. Driver and passengers forming an acute square in the car jointly lean back and forth fervently reconnoitering for a modest amount of space for a coupe. The vertigo halts after hitting the bonanza, a parking spot adjacent to the club.

Final touch-ups prior to exiting the vehicle are necessary since the fifteen minute car ride into the city may have etiolated the colors on their cheeks or the diminished the syrupy surface of their lips. Simultaneously, compacts flip, quad reflections bounce off the side view mirrors. Motley countenances form, the same expressions from the closet mirrors are reverted yet, sticks and palettes of colors are being swiped by diminutive brushes. Paint is transferred in hopes of titivating visages. Essentials are pocketed in pants that appear like they’ll fall to the ground if lipstick inserted. Some of the “pretty woman” girls slide ID’s, minimal cash and clear gloss between their calves and knee high boots. The super quad charge towards the light bolting, music thumping arena.

Two lines in symmetrical opposition are divided by a swarm of girls linking arms in effort to pervade body heat to one another. Such a train must be formed when loitering during a San Francisco evening in apparel that collectively adds up to enough garment for the next up and coming pop star. Skirts that are confused for belts, tops that are mistaken for scarves and denims so low, a bikini wax was required. The waxing continues with the bouncers. Girls flock towards them like the starved to a chef, addicts to a dealer, hookers to a pimp. The grace and embrace begin. All the while, the cash ready line expedites in spite of the pledge to allow entrance to the line that arranged for VIP guest service. The line regulators wave the carnival like comp tickets in the air then, quickly filches it back into their colossal dreary black leather coat. Repetition of this hide and seek game persists in anticipation of creating the image of an abundant crowd frontage of the club as active advertisement. The consumers are sold. Sufficiency of club-goers form a maze around the frolic pad to permit entrance to the teeth chattering, tit jiggling, smoochers. Smiles, we pass the velvet rope.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Fulfilling my cultural dosage for the year, I attended non-club, non-bar, non-party related events. I guess I've been yearning for unfrequented recreation- that happens when you overdose on the habitual scene. Two steps away from checking myself into C.C.C. (Clubbing Cure Clinic).

Sunday: Spoken Word Battle. I haven't been to one since college; I used to go then; admittedly, because it was free for students. Real World: Admission Fee. Seemingly, the poetry slam exceeded their political jargon. I did not attend Berkeley in the 60's- I do not have that overzealous anti-war sentiment. Is it wrong that I don't? Is it wrong that even on 9.11 I attended class to get missing notes from a fellow politically inactive classmate while the masses congregated out in front of Sproul Hall lifting signs, rallying for peace. Is it wrong that the only direct interruption I felt was my regularly scheduled programs?

Monday: Korean Cultural Song and Dance. Act 1, Scene 1: 15 drummers thumping against their rice papered hour-glass shaped instruments. Banging echoed into the crowd, acoustics resonating through the lobby area. I fell asleep. How does that happen? How does one fall asleep not only to the beating of over a dozen drums but to the sound of their cultural heritage? How is one cat-napping at the rumble of one's ancestral wars are being produced. The historic, emotionally invested music that once provided a haven for Koreans to evade from their adversaries managed to lullaby me into temporal coma. My defense, such a steady beat allows for a conducive sleeping atmosphere.

Tuesday: Wine Country. I toured through the Napa Valley for some wine tasting, more like sipping in my case, over-cheesed pasta, and abstract art exhibits. I don't get abstract art. Where does one draw the line between priceless abstraction and senseless scribbles? What was art to me was the landscape, the breath-taking views of the Sonoma mountains. The serene quality to the area enticed me to have a cigarette out in the fresh-open air. Simple physics: fresh air--> bad air: mountainous area--> smoking area. Except, one major glich, the absence of a liquor store in all of Napa County.

So, I conclude that I might not have what it takes to appreciate some of the finer things in life, at least according to convention. Here I am at the Poetry Slam Nationals and I'm disappointed that there aren't enough lyricists rapping about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. Then at the sound of ritualistic folklore, I snore. Finally, at one of the pristine wine sites, I'm vigorously seeking an am/pm mini mart. Perhaps, I need to check myself into a different kind of C.C.C., Culture Cure Clinic.

Or, maybe I just haven't found my cultural calling. This new conscience applies guilty weight of limited exposure to life's treats and treasures. Heading into the kind of summer I had last had in middle-school, I find myself free. Free of classes, jobs or any other adult obligations. This would be an ideal time to hone in on some interests/skills. Perchance, I will actually try one of the interests I listed on my grad school app, or brush up on a passed pastime or even be advantageous with the sundry surroundings of the bay area and further exploit the city that I have been bridge-crossing only for the shops and bars. Or, possibly, I find contentment in other less tradition-rooted, custom-oriented endeavors. I like my remote. I like my DSL. I like my friends. I like my bars. I like my routine, my daily route. Nevertheless, I believe it's wise to veer off course for a self espial. The past three days were unexpected exits. Now, I know to get back on the road and continue on until another foreign promenade entices to me to pull over.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Clouds in my Cosmo

I believe my next door neighbor can smell me...through the walls. I sat in the clouded room filled with swirls of smoke most of the night. Went out with some friends to a frequent scene. Found myself not entertained, not amused, not buzzed, and not dancing- usually when all else fails, I can convince myself to burn a few calories on the dance floor, but not tonight. So, plan B was in effect, sit and smoke in the cigar lounge.

Although, I didn't feel the need to light a cigarette either, simply breathing in that room was sufficient nicotine. So, I sat in an oversized lazy boy (I really want one of those for my apartment, risk: it may become my bed, desk, eating area--permanent indentation of Candy) and chewed my Nicorette (they should come out with tastier flavors). As I conduct one of my favorite pastimes, people watch, I observe a couple fighting. They're standing right over me, totally ignoring my presence which was fine by me, and huff and puff. To the right of me, is another quarrel. A girl is talking on her cell phone to what appears to be her boyfriend. Evidently, she's trying to appease the situation of her being out without him. She cajoles him by telling him that the party is not fun without him and that she can't wait until it's over. All the while, the couple standing over me is continuing there dispute about how he has neglected her the entire night. In sum, they're trite fights that take place between a boy and a girl at a club.

Club Culture Tenets:
#1- Fight off the floor. Sometimes the unavoidable truth is that couples find themselves fighting in front of closed doors. In such a case, do your best effort to get behind those closed doors. The surrounding crowd will only amplify the situation. Friends come around and both parties feel the need to show the other up.

#2- Call from the bathroom or if you've been stamped, step outside. A call will seem much more sincere thus, appreciated, if you take the initiative to find a quiet locale. Yelling, "I can't wait to see you," loses a bit of the romance.

#3- Finally, the only thing lamer than fighting at a club is speculating one. Dance, drink, and be merry.

Now, that I have posed as the Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider of Clubbing, I will sleep. Nick at Nite sucks on the weekends.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Battle of the Bays

I hate intersections the way Californians hate traffic on the Bay Bridge or the 405, the way New Yorkers hate long elevator rides in their towering skyscrapers. You are briskly walking along and then you're halted. You patiently pause for the leaning man to light up. You stare at it as is keeping your eyes fixated on it will expedite the light to change. You tap your feet. You climb closer to the edge of the curb, you are in the position of "on your mark, get set, walk." Now, the only worse situation is when you do not know where you are headed. Then, you're at the crosswalk hoping the light will allow enough time for you to ask for directions. Note: this is not an easy task in the middle of Manhattan, asking a New Yorker for directions is asking them for 30 seconds of their time; 30 seconds could mean missing the train, a cab, or far worse, waiting for the next leaning man.

I am that lost person at the crosswalk. Except, I am pestering Californians for some guidance. These Californians include family, friends and even perfect strangers. No disrespect to family and friends but truth be told, fortuitous encounters lead me closer to a decision. Family and friends play the obligatory role of providing advice that won't come back to bite them in the ass- they are begrudgingly present in the aftermath of a decision. Whereas, outsiders can shoot their shit and be on their merry way. They can exploit the freedom of falsifying wisdom and preach their words with utter confidence in knowing that do not have to face the raft of their ever-so-wise words.

The scene: Saturday Night, Dragon Bar, North Beach SF. "This place closes at 2?!?" an infuriated man yells. "Every bar closes at 2 a.m. in California" a brave woman bellows. He downs his drink, slams the glass into an ashtray and lights up a Marlboro Red. Marlboro Red? This was kismet. Not many of these Dirty Harry smokers around, incidentally my vice of choice. Upon "chance encounter" *wink wink* I ask the volatile man for a cigarette. He ignites my juicy red and I ignite a conversation. He informs me of what I may have guessed, he's from New York. I let him know that I may be headed out there this fall for school. Soon, not sure how it started but we're engaged in a relentless debate representing our native coasts. After 20 minutes of heated banter, he asks the inevitable question that everyone has asked when I have prompted family and friends for advice, "If you love it here so much, why do you want to leave? What is it that you want? What is it that you need?" In efforts to dodge this unavoidable question, I thanked "Bob" for the smoke and scouted for my friends.

Laying in bed, feeling the fade of my buzz from the Tanqueray Tonic consumed 3 hours ago- such a sorry ass lightweight *roll eyes* I attempt at an answer for the age-old question of "what you want?" versus "what you need?" These questions are duality at its best, more often than not, they are in opposition.

What I want is to have a cigarette, what I need is to quit. What I want is a full calorie soda, what I need is to drink diet, or even worse, water. What I want is a job that pays well, what I need is a job that pays period. What I want is a rent-controlled apartment, what I need is probably to find a roommate, "ughhh" I LOVE living with me, just me. Just me and my empty fridge, oven for shoe storage and take out menus cluttering my kitchen drawers. The only TLC I need to provide are for my handbags- they receive gentle leather oil masks weekly. What I want is the new Fendi Biga, what I need is to ask my younger brother for yet another loan. What I want is to meet someone I have undeniable chemistry with, what I need is to meet someone I have undeniable chemistry...isn't that life? In the anomalous chance that what you want and need comply, neither are unattainable *shaking head* Finally, what I want is to not leave family, friends, and the place I have lived all my life. What I want is to be around for friends' birthdays. To hold their hair back over toilets while asking them what they drank, because that's what alleviates the suffering, reminding them of what got them there. I want to be around to answer the phone when my endearingly narcotic mother complains about my stepdad's overtly laid-back nature. I want to be around for when my stepdad calls to ask if I have been out to the ocean lately. Ocean? The Pacific Ocean I see all the time when crossing into the city. The question is am I ready to replace my sun setting ocean, view of two bridges with the sunrising ocean and the site of the Staue of Liberty?

I need to live the harsh reality of not having free dry-cleaning courtesy of the parents' business. I need to sacrifice the leisure of music and smoking while driving and travel via public transportation. I need to accept that last season's Marc Jacobs strappy stilettos are still out of my range and that I'll have to hop on the L train to Chinatown where I can afford Mark Jasons. I need to find a Dean and Deluca to study at where I can fill up on a landslide of lattes before emailing my professor for an extension on my script. I need to meet girls half as cool as mine of whom I can perpetuate my MAC make-over sessions with, only to wait in line for two hours at Club Lotus in the muddied snow ruining my new Mark Jasons. I need to expect a major difference from attending undergrad 40 minutes from home and grad school 4000 miles from home. I need to recognize that I will be attending graduate school at an institution amongst some of the finest in my study but that it will be okay because I have had competitive conditioning at my undergrad college. I need to adjust to living in a city with a population density of 10 people per square foot. I need to learn to wait a crosswalk with 50 other Manhattanites.

Damn Crosswalks. Push the button. Know where to go. Then cross. It will be okay because the one nice thing about crosswalks is that they're two way. You can always cross back.